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Australian central bank cuts rate to 2.5 percent

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia's central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a record low 2.5 percent because of slow growth and weakening commodity prices.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's decision at a monthly board meeting Tuesday in the first week of a federal election campaign was expected by economists.

The bank last cut the Official Cash Rate, which is a benchmark for other lending rates, by a quarter point in May following four cuts in 2012.